Back to 1998 2nd Quarter Table of Contents

The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 13, 2nd Quarter 1998

Book Reviews

Ginkgo Biloba Extract - Beating Cancer with Nutrition - The Vitamin Revolution In Health Care - Encyclopedia of Natural Healing - Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior - Red World–Green World:The Hidden Polarities of Nature

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Ginkgo Biloba Extract (EGb 761)

Francis V. DeFeudis. Ullstein Medical Verlags GmBH, Wiesbaden, Germany. 401 pages. soft cover, 1998.

This is an excellent account of the properties and clinical uses of the extract of ginkgo biloba. It is becoming increasingly clear that total extracts or preparations from plants have properties above what one would expect from the properties of individual chemicals present and, even more important, they are much less toxic. I became aware of this many years ago when I worked with mescalin, the hallucinogen, which had properties quite different than the properties of the whole plant material peyote, as used by some Native American groups. But in the search for patentable single substances the drug industry has preferred to extract these pure compounds and to work with them. Fortunately, the problems associated with isolated substances are now recognized and research is directed into the use of whole extracts or preparations.

The first sections of the book describe the ginkgo tree, a history of its medicinal properties, a good discussion of its chemistry, and how these compounds originate. The physiological and neurophysiological properties are analyzed with many references to the scientific literature. I will not comment on these as I am not familiar with the extensive literature of this product, but on going over it several times it is very comprehensive.

I am most interested in ginkgo’s therapeutic properties. The extract contains two main classes of chemicals. The flavonoids, of which about 4,000 are known, are the pigments so evident in colorful plants. They are very active in a positive sense as anti-oxidants and anti -allergens, with a wide variety of properties. On a good diet about 1 to 2 grams are ingested, of which about half are absorbed. Quercitin is one of the flavonoids. The second group are the terpenes which include the ginkgolides. The proanthocyanidins are also present to a lesser degree.

Because of my interest in the microcirculation and its relationship to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I was very interested in the properties of the erythrocytes and their microcirculation through the capillaries. When the erythrocytes are damaged by excessive oxidation they become stiff, more viscose, and therefore have greater difficulty traversing the capillaries. EGb 761 protects red blood cells against this type of damage. It increases blood flow through the capillary circulation perhaps by this mechanism and by increasing the capillary bed. Therefore it is not surprising that it is useful for treating peripheral arterial occlusive disease, intermittent claudication, and for dealing with neurosensory problems such as dizziness and tinnitus. There is no useful treatment for these conditions except that niacin may be of some help. The mechanism maybe the same since niacin dilates the capillaries. These few conditions are only a small fraction of the potential uses of this broad spectrum therapeutic substance.

The amount of scientific investigation into this herbal product is immense. Its main areas of activity are capillary strengthening, cognitive enhancing properties, anti-stress properties and a beneficial effect on regulating genes. It deserves a good deal of continuing medical examination.

I think that this book will appeal to biochemists, pharmacologists, and clinicians moving into the use of herbs, for it is clear, complete, and lists the scientific reports on which its conclusions are based.

A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C)

Beating Cancer with Nutrition

Patrick & Noreen Quillin. Nutrition Times Press, Inc, Tulsa, OK. 285 pages. paperback, 1998. $US 16.95

I reviewed the first edition of this book in this journal in 1994. I thought the first edition was excellent and very valuable. Once again we are presented with most valuable information with respect to the cancers, how to decrease the chances of developing cancer, and the use of nutrition and nutrients as part of orthomolecular treatment. For many years the Quillins worked with Cancer Treatment Centers of America where they observed first hand the value of incorporating nutrition into treatment regimens. Patrick Quillin was the prime mover in starting a series of international meetings, the first ever, where clinicians using these treatments met with scientists whose orientation is research and discovery. These meetings and the information contained in their books have been most valuable and persuasive in enhancing the advance of nutrition into cancer therapy. So far, most oncologists and cancer treatment centers are disinterested in nutrition, being content to work with the three standard treatment approaches. I suggest they should all be made to read these books; if they did, many of them would widen their therapeutic approach and would vastly improve the results of their treatments.

This new and revised book contains chapters on potential useful supplements backed up with many references, a new section on naturopathic and allopathic remedies, clinical accounts of many patients treated and a very valuable section for oncologists to remedy their fears that supplements prevent their therapies from doing their job. A cook-book section provides advice and recipes for vegetarians and omnivores.

A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C)

The Vitamin Revolution In Health Care

Michael Janson. Arcadia PressPO Box 205, Greenville NH 03048.235 pages. paperback, 1996. US $12.95

Orthomolecular medicine is alive, well, and growing rapidly. One of the reasons is that physicians practising and lecturing in this field are releasing books which describe in detail the elements of this type of medical practice. It refers to the proper consideration of the value of nutrition and the use of supplements in optimum doses for the maintenance and restoration of good health. Optimum doses may be very small, such as one milligram doses of vitamin B12, or very large, such as twelve grams of vitamin C per day.

I like the term orthomolecular and have liked it from the moment Linus Pauling first published it in 1968. It points immediately and directly to the role played by nutrition. I think it is more descriptive than other terms such as holistic medicine which tends to play down nutrition in favor of psychosocial means of achieving better health. These are important but can not work in the absence of good health generated by orthomolecular medicine. The term integrative medicine also plays down the important role of nutrition because one can not be sure what is being integrated. Nutritional medicine is not bad but ignores the role of the nutrients. It was appropriate until the past thirty years when the importance of using optimum amounts of nutrients became evident. Nutritional medicine was practiced 2000 years ago. Orthomolecular medicine became possible only after the isolation and synthesis of nutrients.

In this valuable book Janson describes what orthomolecular medicine is after detailing why we need vitamin supplements. We are all different, our genes demand different amounts of these nutrients, our environment in many way is more toxic from the addition of toxic chemicals into our air, water, soil, and thus into our food. Janson then describes all the nutrients from the fat soluble and water solubles to minerals, fats and essential fatty acids, amino acids. There is a section on flavonoids, herbs and botanicals. These are substances which are present in our body as long as we continue to eat vegetables, grains and fruits. The flavonoids do not provide calories (neither do vitamins and minerals), but they help regulate the many processes in the body. By long exposure to them, mammalian bodies have learned how to use them to maximize their health. Janson adds a brief therapeutic program describing several conditions such as hypertension, arteriosclerosis, digestive problems, candidiasis, diabetes and more.

It is a handy book, an introductory primer which will be most valuable for the new practitioners coming into this field. I suggest that patients buy two copies, one for themselves (and their neighbors), and the second for their physicians. In this way they help advance the cause of better health.

A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C)

Encyclopedia of Natural Healing

S. Gursche, Zoltan Rona.Alive Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 80055,Burnaby, BC V5H 3X1, 1466 pages.

hard cover, 1997. U.S. $62.95

This is such a massive compilation of almost all the aspects of natural healing that it is impossible to review all of it, nor am I competent to do so for many of the natural treatments. But I have reviewed the sections about which I know a little, such as nutrition. My reasoning is that if these sections are well done, it is likely the remaining sections are equally well done. Having done so I heartily recommend this book, not only to all who are concerned about maintaining and restoring health, but also for all healers so that they will be more helpful and will be better able to discuss these matters with their patients.

I enjoyed Section 2, The History of Natural Health. The next section deals with the external physical environment. Body systems are described in Section 4 and optimal nutrition and the use of supplements in the fol-Book Reviews

lowing two sections. Sections 7, 8 and 9 detail herbs, homeopathy and tissue salts.

This is a valuable resource which should be in physicians’ offices and in peoples’ kitchens, and should be referred to before dashing off to the doctor unless of course it is an emergency. It cannot be read as one would generally read a book, but should be used as a reference after the first few sections have been absorbed.

A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C)

Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior

David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Veritas Publishing, P.O. Box 3516, Sedona, AZ 86340. 311 pages. paperback, 1998. US $17.95

Subtitled “An Anatomy of Consciousness,” this work goes beyond advanced theoretical physics and explains the basic causes of human experience in its expressions as feeling, thought, and behavior. Most importantly it explains the inner subtle mechanisms by which recovery is possible from any illness, no matter how poor the prognosis.

The Institute for Noetic Sciences has documented over 70,000 non-medical recoveries from hopeless and fatal diseases. This book explains the underlying principles which made those recoveries possible and provides the necessary information for any reader to follow. The text describes the use of the simple technique of kinesiology which anyone can do and shows how it can be used as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in ways that are far beyond the limited customary usage of the simple muscle test. If used appropriately, kinesiology opens the door to the awareness and specific delineation of the very basis of human existence. The resulting paradigm recontextualizes the very essence of the human experience.

All experience, including sickness and health, is the result of subtle energy forces which operate in everyone beyond their ordinary awareness. These energy patterns exist in the force field traditionally called “consciousness,” which determines all human experience and endeavor. Beyond all time and space, the field of consciousness includes within it the subtle patterns of all events in the universe including thought itself. Just as the process of “succussion” in the preparation of homeopathic remedies leaves a permanent alteration of the basic physics of the water itself, events give off a vibration which is recorded and therefore retrievable in the quantum space of infinite potentiality out of which all experiences and behavior arise. What is being described is equivalent to physicist David Bohm’s “enfolded universe.” The power of thought can easily be calibrated by anyone and in that element live the secrets of recovery from any and all disease.

The basic research behind this work is based on quantum theory, nonlinear dynamics, advanced theoretical physics, and chaos theory which are all explained in simple language so that the essence of their significance is obvious to the reader The book explains how one can bring about that critical leap in inner consciousness that triggers recovery from hopeless disease. The basic mechanism is simply an expansion of context; any so-called problem disappears when its context is expanded sufficiently. Therein lies the secret of all higher awareness. The book presents a new comprehension of causality. Traditional science is limited by the Newtonian paradigm. Healing and the process of life itself require a recontextualization of causality which clarifies phenomena, which surpass the capacity of science to explain,

Power vs. Force received very positive reviews and acclaim from “Brain/Mind Bulletin” as well as numerous spiritually oriented reviews (“Concepts,” “NAPRA Review,” “Leading Edge,”). The research upon which this book is based was published originally as “Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis and Calibration of the Levels of Human Consciousness.” Also available in foreign translations (German, Japanese, and Korean) Definitely worth looking into for the benefit it brings to every reader.

David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. (review by author submitted at the request of the Editor)

Red World–Green World:The Hidden Polarities of Nature

Margaret K. Chan. Paperback (out of print), Original Publisher:Veritas Publishing, P.O. Box 3516, Sedona, AZ 86340, 142 pages. Paperback, 1996. US $9.95

This deceptively unassuming little book reveals for the first time what is actually a very major discovery with widespread implications for health and recovery.

There are two major divisions of people and physical materials in the world. Using kinesiology, the author has demonstrated during fifteen years of research, that, depending on which division you belong to, apparently half the foodstuffs, metals, and other materials in the world will make you go weak, and another group of foods and materials will make you go strong. This is a remarkable discovery. The author divides the two divisions into the “green world” and the “red world.” She invites the reader to verify for themselves that for “green people,” foods from the “green list” will make them go strong and those on the “red list” will make them go weak. Conversely, “red” people go strong with foods from the “red list” and weak when in contact with anything on the “green list.” (There are tables of fibers, fabrics, metals and supplements, among others.) More than just a curiosity, this phenomenon is associated with sickness or health. Adverse substances and foods make one prone to illness while compatible foods and substances support health and healing. The author gives case examples and helpful suggestions. The validity of this work is supported by previous research reported by others on cerebral allergy which shows that even very minute dilutions of certain foods can cause very major reactions and symptoms in susceptible individuals. This is an astonishing work; simply written, fast reading but with very major implications. It will certainly appeal to readers with an interest in diet and health.

David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.

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